Feed Bites

Uniting Feed and Animal Protein Production Through the Protein PACT

Written by: Guest   |   December 9, 2021

Environmental footprint, IFEEDER, Guest perspective

By: Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO, North American Meat Institute

Consumers today want to see that our food choices have a positive impact on our health, communities and the environment around us.

We at the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) believe that eating meat is not only compatible with that goal, it is integral to achieving it - we cannot achieve the sustainable, healthy future people need without meat.

NAMI spearheaded the Protein PACT, for the People, Animals and Climate of Tomorrow, an initiative with that affirmative premise - that meat sustains healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet. The Protein PACT brings together 12 organizations committed to accelerating progress toward all aspects of sustainability and communicating continuous improvement across animal agriculture. We are proud to have the strong partnership of the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER).

Each of the 12 partners in the Protein PACT have their own specific frameworks and commitments for sustainability, such as IFEEDER’s sustainability road map for the feed industry, and are undertaking efforts to publicly verify progress in new ways. The Protein PACT seeks to unite those commitments and provide a platform for communicating openly and transparently about what we are doing today and how we are working together for tomorrow.

For our own members, NAMI has worked intensively to develop a sustainability framework encompassing 92 metrics in five key focus areas - environment, animal care, labor and human rights, food safety, and health and wellness.

We will create the meat processing sector’s first sector-wide data set that will allow us to set transparent baselines and publicly verify progress toward ambitious targets in each goal.

Our most ambitious target: by 2030, 100% of NAMI members will have greenhouse gas emission reduction targets approved by the Science-Based Targets Initiative in line with the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

We will achieve our environmental target while producing the leading source of safe, high-quality protein in Americans' diets, sustaining healthy animals and a thriving workforce along the way.

The American Feed Industry Association’s members are part of this plan. The name of the Protein PACT signifies a common commitment to do the work, answer the tough questions and provide comprehensive solutions.

This is challenging work. NAMI members alone make tens of thousands of different products and work in interconnected supply chains that stretch from farmers and producers to grocery stores, food service and ultimately to consumers.

With so many varied products and supply chains, there is a need to drive common approaches and build harmonized ways to measure and track progress.

To use the environment again as a tangible example - NAMI believes we can make the greatest impact by bolstering efforts to set science-based targets that are independently verified. We will drive momentum to fill gaps - for example, by identifying opportunities to harmonize carbon accounting, create accurate life cycle inventories and assessments, and develop and scale common methods to track and measure data that connects all the way from on-farm practices to our members’ products and then to retail sale, food service and ultimately consumers.

Together with the AFIA and IFEEDER, we will fulfill the Protein PACT and earn greater consumer confidence to choose meat and poultry.

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